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April 1965


Author Affiliations

Department of Ophthalmology University of California Service San Francisco General Hospital San Francisco, Calif 94110

Arch Ophthalmol. 1965;73(4):607. doi:10.1001/archopht.1965.00970030609041

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To the Editor:  In the recent flurry of interest in ophthalmic cryosurgery there have been a number of probes designed to apply low temperature to ocular tissues. In most of these devices the coolant is circulated through a hollow probe and therefore represents no problem of sterility. In at least two instances that we know of, workers have experimentally used solid metal probes directly immersed in a bath of liquid nitrogen. We have cultured liquid nitrogen and have isolated microorganisms, including hay bacillus (eg B subtilis) and Staphylococcus albus. We then inoculated liquid nitrogen with S aureus and Fasarium solani and both organisms were recovered by culture. Liquid nitrogen is not self-sterilizing, and should be used with care. This is to be expected when one considers that liquid nitrogen is made by condensing nonsterile air.

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